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Financial guardian appointed for octuplets

July 27, 2009 8:46:13 AM PDT
An Orange County judge has appointed an independent guardian to oversee the estate of Nadya Suleman's 14 children, including her octuplets.Paul Petersen, a former child actor who is an advocate for kids in entertainment, filed a lawsuit earlier this year with the help of attorney Gloria Allred.

The petition asked that a third party be assigned to oversee a trust fund for Suleman's 14 children and to ensure child labor laws are followed when her kids star in a reality TV show.

Allred has accused Suleman of exploiting her children for financial gain, including selling video of her newborns to the Web site RadarOnline.

"Somebody has to protect the interest. You know, we're not looking at the way she's handling things for her children. We're looking at how are they're financial interests being used and protected, she's got an inherent conflict of interest," said attorney John Deily.

Suleman's attorney said she is already working with professionals who do have the children's best interests in mind, and that the entire team she is working with is abiding by California child labor laws.

A reality show is slated to start filming Suleman and her 14 children, ranging in age from 6 months to 8 years old, on Sept. 1. Suleman has signed deals with European production company Eyeworks for each of her children to earn nearly $18,000 over three years.

The children's reality television contracts were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, and await a judge's approval.

Deily noted that Suleman herself has a contract, but it is unknown how much she will be making.

Santa Ana lawyer Norbert Bunt was appointed guardian ad litem, and is scheduled to appear at the court's next hearing, Aug. 31.

Suleman's attorney Arthur J. LaCilento called the petition ludicrous and nosy, and has filed a motion to dismiss the case based on the family's needs for privacy.

Suleman gave birth to the world's longest-surviving octuplets, six boys and two girls, on Jan. 26.

Labor abuses have been at issue with the octuplets in recent months. Four citations were brought against RadarOnline by state regulators for the video taping of the first two octuplets to go home from the hospital. The Labor Commissioner said Radar failed to get the required state permits and taped the infants too late and for too long.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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